Anyone on anxiety meds??

Went off anxiety med Effexor before I found out about ckd. Been trying to stay off but don't think I can deal on a day to day basis. This stress has got to be worse for my body than the medication. Was wondering if others are on any kind of anxiety med and if it helps you?

14 Replies

  • I was taking 10mg of Fluoxetine for several years. I was a special ed teacher for middle and high school students before retirement. My PCP upped it to 20mg because of the CKD. It helps to balance things out and lets me focus more clearly. The previous nephrologist I saw also said it was a good idea as long as I didn't have any side effects. I don't

  • So your nephrologist ok'd the anti anxiety med and upped it? He didn't obviously think it would interfere with the kidneys then? That's good to know...I was going to try and go along without it but don't think I can. It consumes my thoughts 24/7 and stresses me out. Also, did your nephrologist seem ok with the 10 mg of melatonin for sleeping?

  • The Fluoxetine was helpful when I was working and when the PCP upped the dosage I went along with it because it works as best I can tell and the "old" nephrologist agreed. I'm going to verify all this with the new nephrologist as soon as I get the appointment. If I'm prying just tell me but, you've indicated the anxiety level you have is very high. Do you have a hobby or what do you do to relax and get your mind off CKD? I go birding or take photos of nature. It helps me relax and puts things in perspective.

  • Don't worry about prying lol, I'm an open book!! For some reason after I had my second child at age 40, my health anxiety went into overdrive big time! I worried about every ache and pain thinking it was something terrible. I wasn't the hypochondriac that went to the dr all the time, I was the one that never wanted to go, although I did go for my routine checkups. I went on Paxil at age 40 for 6 years and then switched to the lowest dose of Effexor and have weaned off of it once before this last time. When I don't take it my anxiety is high and my mood is flat. I have several friends that take either Paxil, Prozac or Effexor and swear they will never stop. As far as hobbies - no I really don't. My husband and I are retired- kids on their own, and I work a part time job. I'm usually a very upbeat person but this has knocked the wind right out of me. I read that there are 30 million people diagnosed with ckd because of this staging criteria thing. Other than people I've connected to on these boards, I don't know anyone else in my life with this situation, do you? Also, did your Dr ok the melatonin for sleep? The one time I took it I felt a little funny.

  • I had no reaction to the melatonin and I did have my former PCP okay it. Having diabetes 2, I always made sure that anything over the counter was okay'd.

    My personal opinion from my limited time with CKD and the research I've done makes me think that the 30,000,000 people they refer to with CKD is a soft number. I say that because so many more people have it and the doctors, for whatever reason, don't tell them directly. I was one of them because he (old nephrologist) wrote it up and that's how I found it during a check of my records.

    Since you don't have a hobby the only other thing I can think of is to get so much information on CKD that you master the knowledge in a way that makes it seems less of a hurdle and more of something you have the strength to concur. When I was working I all of my students had difficulties in one or more subjects. I had them pick one and work to improve that. It gave them a focus and the ability to learn the unknown and that put them ahead of the fear.

    There is a way here on this forum to check for people that live near you. The closest one to me is about 240 miles away. I'm not sure what being close will do as long as they deal with the same medical issues you have you'll be in good company regardless of where in the US they live. Good luck.

  • Mr Kidney - why were you going to a nephrologist if you didn't know you had ckd? When you found out because of his notes what were his comments?

  • I was seeing a hematologist and he suggested I see a nephrologist. He said that without any indication of anything he saw in my bloodwork. I was slightly anemic my SED Rate was high and he couldn't explain it, and wasn't too concerned because I didn't have any other symptoms to indicate something else. Who knew that CKD was masked by so many other things, like fatigue, itching, anxiety, etc. I saw the nephrologist several time and after the 4th visit and lab work, including a 24 hour urine collection, I was waiting for him to come in to the exam room when the nurse popped in and said that he would be about 20 minutes late due to an emergency. I told her it was okay and took my chart out of the holder by the door and looked at it. He had written down Stage 2 CKD after my 2nd visit, but never told me. After the 3rd visit, nothing was said and when I followed up after the 4th visit and asked about the GFR he told me that he wasn't convinced that the GFR was a good method for determining where I was with CKD.

    I left his office and increased my research. Then he cancelled my next appointment the day before I met with my new PCP and at that exam she told me that I was Stage 3A. I then kicked up my research a notch further and found a new nephrologist (waiting for an appointment) and a renal dietician that I will meet when I get back home next week.

  • Mr Kidney, that pretty much infuriates me. What right did he have keeping that from you!!! Maybe he didn't want to scare you. The thing is that I think you already know is that they don't do much about it until you are below GFR 60 especially if your reasons are high blood pressure or diabetes as I think they gradually deteriorate and they don't seem to have much guidance on how to stop it. Other types such as what I have (IGA Nephropathy, can decline rapidly, stop where it's at or go into remission, so they keep an eagle eye on me testing me every three months).

    When I was younger I never concerned myself too much with my labs, but after years of doctors brushing my symptoms off saying I was suffering from anxiety and that they were panic attacks etc ( which was partially true), I finally took it upon myself to have copies of labs delivered to me. It was in 2013 that I saw my GFR was low 50s and asked my holistic doctor about it. He said it could be a number of things that could cause it. Although he took my concerns seriously and did order some tests, i felt a little taken aback that I had to bring it up. I really like this doctor and he is the one who determined that many of my earlier symptoms throughout the years were due to food intolerances although I had already been studying this myself, he validated it.

    In any case, I know you live in the states. I in in Arizona and Sonora Quest offers online portal where you can view your labs as soon as they come in so you have time to review before going to your doctor. Your lab may have the same or look for one that does. I can also pay out of pocket for the ACR and GFR tests anytime I want. I think it's something like $28.

    In any case, I applauded you for all the self education you are doing and that you are taking control of your diabetes. You should be able to slow down the progression I would think with all the wonderful things you are doing for yourself.

    Wishing you blessings and great health!

  • Thank you for the kind words and support. I do go over all of my lab values. In fact I developed an Excel Worksheet where I listed all of the blood and urine issues that need to be looked at for High Blood Pressure, Type 2 Diabetes and CKD.

    Because I'm not a doctor, I wanted to look at one paper and see a cumulative total of all my results in an area over time. If I want to discuss it with a doctor I highlight the specific line and then at the visit, I make sure I get satisfactory answers for why the decrease or increase and how to get the numbers back in the "normal" range for me.

    At that time I was seeing several specialists and each doctor wanted to have their own labs. For the longest time my GFR was >60. When hit dropped to 44 he went silent and was gone from my physician's list when I hit a GFR of 32. On my next labs, next month I hope they are up somewhat since the two meds were stopped and they started me on a statin.

    When he finally told me about the CKD he said he thought the drop in number was a false one due to my changing the dosage of one of my blood pressure medications. Another doctor moved me from 12.5 mg of Atenolol to 25 mg and three weeks later another doctor moved me back to 12.5 mg. I would have preferred he tell me that CKD might be the issue so I could have started being proactive immediately.

    At any rate my new PCP had me stop that med as of the end of June and my blood pressure is stable but slightly up at 130/76. She also took me off the Metformin and now I'm not on any meds for Diabetes. Just diet and excercise and my monthly average is now down to 86.

    Doing the research allows me to ask intelligent questions now and I'm learning to recognize evasiveness from any medical professional.

  • I'm glad you have a new doctor and it sounds like are getting things under control!

    Love the Excell sheet. I started that awhile back too. It definitely helps when you have multiple issues. I love my nephrologist. Whenever I come to visit her she asks,"what goodies do you have for me today?" Instead of being annoyed, she is happy that I participate. I'm lucky to have her.

    Keep us posted on your findings!

  • Yes, I am on effexxor and it helps but there are times that I do have anxiety. For instance, today my husband was put in hospital in ICU unit. Breathing problems, cold and afib. I also have problems even with taking xanax.

  • I know what you anxiety can be so bad that even though I was on Effexor I still sometimes can't control it!! I hope everything turns out ok for your husband.

  • Thank you!

  • Hi Lin,

    So I know we discussed Melatonin. Sounds like from your comments below you need to discuss with your doctor. I've been able to call in and leave a question with mine if it's simple like that instead of going in for a complete appt. you might consider trying that. Of course lack of sleep adds to anxiety as we all know so hopefully you can get that or something going soon that will help your sleep.

    Sounds like your anxiety may have been partially hormone based. I have had severe anxiety, panic attacks and even a breakdown or two from anxiety so I'm well versed in anxiety. Over the years I tried Paxil, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Zoloft. From my recollection Zoloft helped the best. I went off all of them and have not been on in 7 years or so as I didn't like the side effects and honestly I can't remember my reasoning now. In any case, my anxiety has a lot to do with hormonal issues. I went on a natural progesterone (yam based) and a natural estrogen (rhubarb based called Estrovera) Both have helped in various ways.

    Still though I have been suffering with it and the diagnosis last Oct of CKD (my type is IGA Nephropathy) sent me into a whirlwind of panic. However, I have been working really hard at trying to control it. I'm not sure if any one thing is helping, or if it's a combo of everything. The last two months have gone exceptionally well for me so I'm kind of holding my breathe hoping it will continue.

    Here are the steps I'm taking:

    1. Eating mostly organic fresh foods- simple salads, no sauces on things etc. low salt etc - typical good things for CKD

    2. My husband wakes me up and drags me up at 4:30 am and drags me to the gym every morning for an hour. I do a bit of cardio, some yoga stretches and a few weights. Moderate, but beneficial.

    3. Yoga, although I've been doing a few yoga stretches here and there for years, I never had taken a class or understood the true nature of yoga. It's teaching me to breathe, slow down and ground myself. I highly recommend this. There are lots of free yoga classes on YouTube for all stages and even dissabilities.

    4. I listen to meditation and hypnosis tapes. When I can get one in time wise I'll do a short 20 minute one during the day, if not, I do it while I sleep. I purchased some really comfy nighttime earphones that are Bluetooth and I pop on a free YouTube video- I like the ones by Timothy Hall, then go to sleep and let it do its magic.

    5. Besides #1, I've cut out a lot of cane sugar. I still eat some honey and fruit juices, but have cut way back on the sweets. This is big for me as I have a big sweet tooth.

    6. Although I know we need to be careful of too much meat protein, I've never been a big meat eater. I've actually had to add more to my diet. I try to eat 1-2 ounces of meat or an egg to each meal making sure to stay within my allotted protein for the day. The protein has triptophens which can elevate serotonin- the mood enhancing hormone in our bodies. I am currently reading the book "the Mood Cure." And once I get through it will discuss with my doctor the suggested mood enhancing amino acids suggested in the book. One of the suggested supplements is an amino acid called Glycine which she has me taking.

    7. I've always prayed and have a strong faith, but now I try to send out a little prayer before my yoga sessions, of course before meals and before any meditation or hypnosis, giving gratitude.

    8. Blood pressure meds. I'm on 5mg lisinopril. Apparently they make many people anxious, but it did the reverse for me. As my blood pressure went up, my anxiety level skyrocketed. Once on the meds I saw a decrease and it eased my anxiety.

    9. I read and re-read "the Power of Now" by Ekhart Tolle- you can also find this on YouTube

    I hope one of these ideas might work for you. Every little bit helps. When I was at my worst, having even an hour of relief was a blessing.

    Wishing you peace and happiness and a good night's sleep!

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